Officials from the America's Freedom Festival in Provo have announced the winners of the Freedom Awards to be given at the Awards Gala July 1, at 6:30 p.m. in the Brigham Young University Wilkinson Center Ballroom.
John Walsh is one of America's most respected advocates of missing children and crime victims and will receive a Freedom Award for his work.His show, "America's Most Wanted," is a realization of a dream he had, to fight crime through the proper channels after his own son was abducted and murdered during the summer of 1981. His grief was turned into positive energy to help missing and exploited children.
His wife Reve, helped Walsh convince Congress to pass the Missing Children Act of 1982 and the Missing Children's Assistance Act of 1984. The latter bill founded the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children.
As a result of Walsh's lobbying, the FBI created separate files on missing children and unidentified bodies in its National Crime Information Center.
In 1985 he was named "Father of the Year" by the national Father's Day committee.
Sung Hak Baik and David Beattie will receive the award for their interaction long ago during the Korean War.
Baik was born in Manchuria but got lost aboard a Chinese fishing boat headed for Korea. The orphan, who wandered into an American GI camp penniless and hungry, quickly befriended Beattie, who became a father figure to the young refugee.
Beattie, who was known as Billy at the time, rescued the young child after he sustained burns all over his body while standing near a fuel drum shelled by the enemy, and sent Baik a boxful of clothes for Christmas after he had been shipped home.
Although Baik was sent to a Seoul orphanage a short time after Beattie's departure, he used Beattie's example to become an entrepenuer and one of the richest and most successful men in Korea. His company, named Young An, manufactures baseball caps in five countries, including the United States.
Jose Alberto Sanchez will receive a Freedom Award for his medical work in his native country of Mexico.
Sanchez moved from the streets of Mexico City as a newspaper carrier and a shoe shiner to the University of Mexico Medical School. As a young doctor, he treated an accident victim with severe head injuries. For more than 12 hours, he worked to stabilize the child and eventually saved her life.
His work eventually led him to the Tarahumara Indians, Mexico's most primitive people, to help villagers who were dying from diseases caused by modernization.
After appealing in vain for help from the Mexican government, he eventually found help from Dr. Eran Call, a BYU professor. His aid included a four-wheel-drive pickup for tranportation, as well as cash and equipment. Drugs and vaccinations came from Intermountain Health Care, and other Utah doctors made various other donations to make it possible to erect a small five-room clinic.
The Mexican government pays Sanchez $200 monthly for his services.
Jon and Karen Huntsman's humanitarian service has brought them recognition from around the globe.
Both are known for their extensive philanthropy in helping rebuild the country of Armenia following the 1988 earthquake. They received the country's highest award for their efforts.
They have helped create and fund the Hunstman Center Institute at the University of Utah and have also funded the Huntsman Center for Environmental Research at Utah State University, the Huntsman Center for Global Competition and Leadership at the University of Pennsylvania and have made major donations to the homeless, the ill and the underpriveledged.
The Huntsmans have received awards from the National Conference of Christians and Jews and the Catholic Church for their contributions.
Also honored at the gala will be Marlo Jensen, longtime planner and heart of the Freedom Festival. For nearly a decade, Jensen served as executive director of the festival and helped define its nature as a nationally recognized celebration.